Where Did The AK Mags Go?

Last year I did a post on several hundred thousand AK-47 mags which the US Army purchased. This seemed odd, because the US Army doesn’t use Russian rifles.

Today there was a news story that ISIS is well stocked for the next two years with US purchased armaments “stolen” from the Iraqi army.

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10 Responses to Where Did The AK Mags Go?

  1. nielszoo says:

    Special Ops types regularly train with AK pattern rifles as well as military weapons instructors that will go on to teach local police, militia and army troops that also use AK pattern rifles. They are the most common weapon in the world and the vast majority of the non-US/European armies use them. Special Ops types will also use AK variants when operating “behind the lines” as bopping around with an M4 or M16A3 and leaving 5.56x45mm brass behind is a sure sign that Americans are around.

    • Mike says:

      This I know. But your mentioned use of the AK-47, and AK-74, by our Military did not require such an immense purchase of such magazines. We do not issue any rifle that chambers a 7.62 x .39. Special use only.

      • rah says:

        We buy them and give them to our “allies”. And yes SO does carry AKs for deep penetration missions for the very reason stated plus because we could get ammo for them in Indian territory. Many of us in 10th group also preferred to carry the AKs in extreme cold or wet conditions. They rust but will function under more extreme conditions than the M-16. This is because the mechanism of the AK is machined to looser tolerances so ice and dirt are far less likely to cause a malfunction.

        BTW in 1984 in Lebanon I could buy an AK-47 in good condition for $45.00 US. A good side arm however, such as a Browning Hi-power would go for 3 to 5 times that much. I bought neither since we all thought we would have to pass through customs on our return to the US. But I do have a few of the AK bayonets picked up in Lebanon and other places over time. The only one I really treasure today is the black handled one which dates from the first issue of the weapon. I keep one in my garage still today and use it for opening bags of bird seed. And the wire cutters work great also.

        But the real treasure I brought back from Lebanon was 22 K gold jewelry. Basically the price for that jewelry was the spot price on the market for gold at that time and thus the fine workmanship was essentially free and they custom made it for us. Every piece I brought back from to the US was appraised at 20-25% more than what I had paid for it in Lebanon.

  2. etudiant says:

    The AK 47 is the most widely produced and copied small arm of the post WW2 period, with many tens of millions manufactured in Russia alone. So a few hundred thousand magazines is a trifle.
    OTOH, there has not been any follow up that I’ve seen to DHS buying a couple of billion hollow point (dum dum) rounds. Clearly there are funny things going on.

  3. Donald Freeman says:

    This is not news in certain quarters. I worked in a logistics unit supporting the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior in 2010-2011 and we provided Russian designed small arms of all kinds to the Iraqis. As I recall we provided Glock handguns. No big secret. Nearly all of our contract personnel were armed with AK’s as well. We had thousands of guards from third world countries like Sierra Leone, Uganda etc and AK’s were ubiquitous.

  4. au1corsair says:

    When I was working in Kuwait during the 1990’s I encountered a can of about 1000 rounds of the M43 round for the AK-47 family (7.62x39mm). Someone had opened it up thinking it was food and had given it to me to turn in. It appeared to have been made at the United States Lake City Arsenal, but the ammunition was sterile (unmarked) except for a 1988 head stamp. I could have been mistaken, I only examined it a bit–brass (not lacquered steel) cartridge cases. Didn’t get to check for Boxer primers. Someone from the UN picked up the can from my arms room (the United Nations Peacekeepers were in the south end of Camp Doha during those days) and that’s the last I saw of it.

    Back during the Kennedy Assassination the Warren Commission discovered that the US had manufactured 6.5mm Italian rounds post-war. The Western Cartridge Corporation supposedly made a large batch of that cartridge during 1944 for issue to Italian troops and guerrillas fighting for the Allies. If stored under cool, dry conditions, loaded metallic case small arms ammunition will lose very little of its punch. I’m using Malaysian-made M193 produced during April 1982. I had a supply of CCI Mini Mag hollow-point .22 long rifle ammunition purchased during 1989 that I just used up. Even a supply of 12 gauge 2-3/4th-inch short magnum #00 buckshot purchased in 1990 showed a spread of only 29 feet per second when this 12-pellet load was fired over a chronograph, and it pattered well through my shotgun. One of the conspiracy theories is that Oswald couldn’t have killed Kennedy at around 50 meters because his ammunition was 20 years old. Many miss that it was Made in the USA for an enemy weapon (later “co-belligerent”) and was part of the underground war later. Some of the ammunition–and Italian rifles to fire it–were on inventory in the US Department of Defense for those operations where the President required plausible deniability–such as the Bay of Pigs.

    The US isn’t the only nation to do this–during World War Two Imperial Japan manufactured hundreds of thousands of .30-06 cartridges for Japanese and Filipino troops armed with captured M1917 Enfield rifles and several hundred American-made thirty-caliber machine guns.

    I’d be surprised to find that none of these magazines were US-made. It’s more economical to simply by them from Russia by the boxcar load. Poland was seeking to re-equip to NATO standards–they want NOTHING to do with the Great Russian Bear and had hundreds of thousands of AK magazines.

    Were these magazines steel or plastic? The Russians quit making steel AK magazines decades ago, but some steel AK magazines were manufactured in the USA–and in other nations–since.

  5. Bob Knows says:

    ISIL is well stocked with US Arms delivered in secret deals in Benghazi and now openly shipped to Islamic terrorist forces in Syria. Its the Obama plan.

  6. Fallon says:

    “But three years ago, it became public that the C.I.A. had some kind of secret location at Camp Stanley, an Army weapons depot just north of San Antonio and the former Kelly Air Force Base, though its purpose was unclear. And now, a retired C.I.A. analyst, Allen Thomson, has assembled a mosaic of documentation suggesting that it is most likely the home of Midwest Depot.

    In December, he quietly posted his research, which he has updated several times with additional clues, on the website of the Federation of American Scientists. In an email exchange, Mr. Thomson argued that the Midwest Depot’s history should be scrutinized.

    “I have worried about the extent to which the U.S. has spread small arms around over the decades to various parties it supported,” he said. “Such weapons are pretty durable and, after the cause du jour passed, where did they go? To be a little dramatic about it, how many of those AK-47s and RPG-7s we see Islamists waving around today passed through the Midwest Depot on their way to freedom fighters in past decades?” ”


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